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#1 Guide to Rewards and Recognition in 2023

January 16, 2023
4 Min Read
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Gloria Shugleva

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The workplace is changing, and so are the expectations of employees. In order to attract and retain top talent, businesses need to understand how to properly implement a recognition program for their employees. This guide will show you the ultimate way to do just that. So stay ahead of the curve and keep your employees happy with this foolproof plan!

What are employee rewards and recognition

In today's competitive hiring environment, more is needed for companies to provide a paycheck. As a result, the modern work culture has evolved to include employee recognition programs that cultivate a happy and motivated workforce.

  • Recognition is the act of recognizing an individual's effort in achieving a goal and publicly acknowledging them.
  • Rewards are tangible or intangible items that show appreciation for a well-done job.

Employee rewards and recognition programs are essential to every company's workplace management strategy. It is vital to recognize employee achievements, both small and large. This keeps morale high and shows appreciation for your team's hard work. In turn, your employees will work harder and stay with your company longer.

"People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise, and rewards." - Dale Carnegie

You can recognize great work with tangible and intangible incentives. Examples of tangible rewards include gift cards or other financial incentives, while intangible rewards can be employee awards or public acknowledgments of employee successes. Combining these two types of awards creates a comprehensive strategy for your program.

By making employee reward programs a regular part of your company culture, you can build loyalty among existing employees and attract top talent. Employee recognition will also help to foster collaboration among colleagues, as they work together to achieve greater success and better outcomes for the company.

10 benefits of implementing employee rewards and recognition programs

There are many benefits of implementing employee rewards and recognition programs. These benefits include increased morale, higher productivity, and reduced turnover rates.

Employee morale is a vital part of any company. When employees feel appreciated for their work, they are more likely to be productive and happy. In addition, a positive work environment leads to better outcomes for the company.

Happy employees are also less likely to leave their jobs. Turnover rates can be expensive and disruptive for companies, so reducing them is a top priority. Rewarding employees for a job well done is one way to keep them satisfied and engaged.

Here are 10 benefits of implementing employee recognition awards and recognition programs:

  1. Improved employee experience: A rewards and recognition program can improve the overall employee experience by encouraging employees to feel valued in their workplace with tangible recognition for a job well done. This will result in more engaged, motivated, and satisfied employees.
  2. Increased customer service: Rewarding employees for customer service excellence will encourage them to provide outstanding service and keep customers loyal. Rewards and recognition programs can be tailored to customer-facing roles, which will help create a more positive customer experience.
  3. Show appreciation for good work: Employees want to know that their hard work is being noticed and appreciated. A rewards and recognition program lets employees know that their efforts are not going unnoticed and can be an excellent way to show appreciation for a job well done.
  4. Encourage desired behaviors: Rewards and recognition programs provide an incentive for employees to strive for excellence when it comes to their work performance and behavior. This encourages desired behaviors, such as collaboration and problem-solving, which will benefit the company.
  5. Improved retention: Rewarding employees for their achievements helps to create an atmosphere of loyalty and encourages them to stay with the company long-term. This will result in improved employee retention rates and better overall job satisfaction.
  6. Streamlined process: By utilizing a rewards and recognition platform, employers can simplify the process of recognizing, rewarding, and tracking employee achievements. This will help to streamline the process and make it easier for employers to identify employees promptly.
  7. Expanded reach: By increasing the reach of rewards and recognition programs beyond individual managers, companies can engage more employees with their programs and ensure that everyone is rewarded for their hard work.
  8. Cost savings: Rewards and recognition programs can be cost-effective, as they don't require large sums of money to be effective. Instead, employers can provide non-monetary rewards such as kudos or employee recognition certificates for a well-done job. Additionally, with the analytics of employee recognition programs, your ROI is increased when you can adjust awards and recognition to acquire a happier staff and reduce employee turnover.
  9. Increased productivity: Rewarding employees for a job well done can create an atmosphere of motivation and encourage employees to work harder. This will result in increased productivity as employees strive to achieve their goals and are rewarded appropriately.
  10. Enhanced teamwork: By implementing employee rewards and recognition programs, employers can foster teamwork by recognizing individual contributions and collective achievements. This will create a more cooperative environment and help to build strong teams.

Employee recognition also encourages collaboration among colleagues. When team members feel appreciated for their contributions, they are more likely to want to help out others on the team. This type of teamwork leads to better results for the company.

The bottom line is employee recognition, and rewards platforms offer many benefits for businesses of all sizes. For example, they promote a positive work environment, reduce turnover, and encourage collaboration among coworkers. In addition, implementing these programs is a simple way to show your employees that you value their hard work.

You can trust the statistics about rewards and recognition

Work Human has released a study titled "Unleashing the Human Element at Work: Transforming Workplaces Through Recognition." This study shows that team morale in the workplace increases significantly when rewards and recognition are used. According to this report, the use of rewards and recognition improves the workplace in these five key areas:

  • company turnover is significantly reduced
  • employees report a higher level of satisfaction with their lives
  • employees experience a drastic reduction in work burnout
  • work engagement and productivity are increased
  • employees are more connected to the company culture

Rewards and recognition have a powerful positive effect on employee morale. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, 78% of employees believe that their employer values their work more when they receive recognition. This is especially important because employees are more likely to be satisfied and productive when they feel valued.

Studies also confirm that employee engagement and loyalty increase significantly when rewards and recognition are used in the workplace. According to The Great X Talent Trends 2022 report, employing reward and recognition strategies in the workplace can reduce company turnover by up to 50% and increase employee satisfaction with their lives by over 30%.

When you understand the benefits of rewards and recognition, you understand that your company can't afford to ignore this vital element of workforce management. Matter makes it easy to create a program that your team will love!

Rewards and recognition are important for reducing turnover

Employee turnover is expensive for companies. It can cost up to twice an employee's annual salary to replace them, and that doesn't even include the cost of lost productivity while the position is vacant. Replacing an employee can disrupt business operations, and it can take time for a new hire to become fully productive. Additionally, losing experienced employees can damage company morale and lead to decreased productivity throughout the workforce.

The high cost of employee turnover is one of the main reasons businesses should invest in employee rewards and recognition programs. When employees feel appreciated and valued, they are less likely to leave their jobs.

"63% of employees who are recognized are very unlikely to look for a new job" - Spiceworks

Employee retention should be a top priority for any business owner or manager. By implementing effective reward and recognition programs, you can keep your team happy and reduce the likelihood of costly turnovers. Matter makes it easy to create a program that meets your specific needs!

Types of employee rewards and recognition programs

There are many types of rewards and recognition programs for employees. Employers can use these programs to inspire and motivate the workforce. Tangible items such as vouchers, gift cards, and merchandise can be beneficial motivators. Non-monetary options include public recognition, such as trophies or certificates of appreciation.

Peer-to-peer recognition is when employees recognize and reward one another for a well-done job. This type of recognition for employees is often seen as more authentic and meaningful than management recognition because it comes from fellow employees who understand the work that has been done.

Peer-to-peer recognition can take many forms, such as verbal praise, public acknowledgment, or giving a colleague a small gift. The most important thing is that the reward feels genuine and meaningful to both the giver and the recipient.

Management recognition is when supervisors or managers reward employees for a well-done job. This type of recognition typically comes with an increase in pay or a promotion, and it is often seen as more formal than peer-to-peer recognition.

Many companies today offer their employees annual recognition awards ceremonies to thank them for a job well done. While this type of recognition is essential, it's also important to recognize employees frequently for their hard work.

Annual recognition ceremonies are an important way to show employees they are valued, but they should not be the only recognition reward that employees receive. Frequent recognition is essential for building a positive work environment and maintaining high levels of employee engagement.

Tips for creating effective employee rewards and recognition programs

Frequent peer-to-peer recognition produces the most significant impact on workplace morale and productivity. Matter has created a program that allows employees and managers to give each other feedback and rewards. The online software integrates with Teams and Slack, making recognition easy to include in your daily workflow.

There are several key factors you should consider when setting up your recognition and rewards programs:

  1. Decide whether to provide cash, vouchers, or tangible rewards. Gift cards are a great monetary reward that employees love.
  2. Recognize employees publicly to encourage buy-in from other team members. Recognition is just as important as rewards!
  3. Make sure it's easy for employees to collect points or rewards. An online reward and recognition platform is the best solution for companies with remote employees.

If you develop a program that meets these criteria, you'll have successful employee rewards and recognition. Matter does all of this and more. We can help you build the best program for your company.

"Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers." - Stephen R. Covey

9+ ideas for rewards and recognition

One great idea for employee recognition programs is to offer peer-to-peer recognition. This allows employees to recognize each other in meaningful ways, such as through a nomination system or awards program. Peer-to-peer recognition can be compelling in boosting morale and productivity. It helps employees feel appreciated by their peers and encourages team collaboration.

One of the most effective rewards and recognition ideas that companies can implement is a "High-five" system. This allows employees to recognize their peers for exceptional work by sending virtual high-fives. These points can be accumulated to redeem merchandise, gift cards, or cash bonuses.

Another employee recognition idea is to create an incentive system. This system encourages employees to reach goals or excel in their performance by offering tangible rewards such as cash bonuses, gift cards, or merchandise. This type of reward can increase motivation and performance, as employees feel motivated by the prospect of a reward.

Here are some ideas for rewarding and recognizing employees:

  1. Employee experience bonuses: Giving employees bonuses for going above and beyond their regular duties can greatly reward them for their hard work. This could include cash bonuses, gift cards, or additional vacation time.
  2. Customer service awards: Recognizing customer service representatives who have gone out over and beyond to provide exceptional customer service can be a great way to motivate them to continue providing top-notch service. Offering awards like gift cards, certificates, or additional time off can help reinforce excellent customer service.
  3. Good work certificates: Showing appreciation for employees who have done good work by giving them certificates of recognition is an effective and cost-effective way to reward them. This is especially beneficial for employees who don't regularly receive bonuses or rewards.
  4. Rewards & recognition programs: Establishing a rewards and recognition system can effectively motivate employees and show appreciation for their hard work. These programs can range from informal rewards like gift cards or certificates to more formal awards like company-wide recognition for outstanding performance.
  5. Kudos: Showing appreciation for employees and their hard work by giving them kudos is a great way to show appreciation.
  6. Special events: Hosting special events like employee appreciation days or team lunches is a great way to show employees that you value their hard work and recognize the importance of team building.
  7. Team incentives: Offering team-based incentives can be a great way to motivate employees. This could include offering rewards for reaching certain milestones or having competitions between teams to earn additional benefits or recognition.
  8. Feedback Friday: Hosting an informal gathering at the end of each week to recognize employees who have done a great job or improved their performance is a great way to show appreciation and encourage team bonding.
  9. Celebrations: Whether it's celebrating the anniversary of an employee's hire date, birthdays, or even company milestones, celebrations are a great way to recognize employees and build a sense of community.
  10. Honors & awards: Offering awards or honors such as 'Employee of the Month' is an effective way to publicly recognize employees and give them tangible evidence of their hard work. These programs can also help create a sense of competition among employees and promote a
  11. Lunch with the boss: For employees who have performed exceptionally well, offering them the chance to have lunch with senior management can be an effective way to reward them and give them a sense of recognition.
  12. Public recognition: Making a point to publicly recognize employees for their work can be an effective way to show appreciation and motivate them to continue performing well. This could include recognition at company meetings or in the form of awards, certificates, or other forms of public recognition.

Investing in rewards and recognition can help create an atmosphere of collaboration, camaraderie, and respect between team members while also increasing customer satisfaction. In addition, by investing in these programs, employers can ensure that their teams remain motivated and engaged in their work.

Examples of successful employee rewards and recognition strategies from large companies around the world

Companies worldwide recognize the importance of rewards and recognition programs on employee morale, performance, and retention. Here are some examples of successful rewards and recognition initiatives:

  1. Adobe implemented a recognition policy for their employees in which they are awarded points to spend on rewards from their rewards catalog.
  2. Employees of Goldman Sachs have access to the Recognize App, which offers peer-to-peer rewards for exceptional staff members.
  3. Microsoft recently launched Achievement Rewards for Outstanding Performers (AROP), an international service award program that rewards their best-performing employees with rewards like travel vouchers, state-of-the-art technology prizes, and money towards education.
  4. Auronix uses Matter to reinforce its ideal employee behaviors. They created custom kudos that reflect the company values and encourage employees to recognize each other for these behaviors. The employee that receives the most kudos each month receives a tangible reward.
“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace." - Doug Conant, Former President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company

These rewards and recognition programs are just a few of the many ways employers around the world are recognizing employees for meeting and exceeding expectations.

Rewards and recognition for remote teams

Remote employees offer a variety of benefits to businesses. Businesses can save on overhead and operational costs by allowing employees to work from home or any remote location. Additionally, remote employees can choose their own hours, allowing for greater productivity and efficiency. Furthermore, businesses no longer have to worry about commuting costs or rent office space.

Rewards and recognition programs are just as important for remote employees as for employees who work in the office. Remote employees often feel isolated from their colleagues, so public recognition can be especially beneficial in boosting their morale. In addition, since remote employees don't visit the office, it's important to have a system that allows them to collect rewards or points online. This will help ensure that all team members feel appreciated and valued for their contributions, regardless of where they are located.

As the demand for remote employees grows, so does the competition for talent. That competition is only going to get tougher in the years ahead. Businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve need to ensure their workplace culture appeals to today's remote job seekers.

Many remote workers feel that company culture and recognition are lacking in their organization, which motivates them to search for better opportunities. This satisfaction gap provides a significant opportunity for savvy remote companies to stand out and attract top talent.

Brains, like hearts, go where they are appreciated." - Robert McNamara, Former American Secretary of Defense

Here are 6 ideas to give rewards and recognition to remote employees:

  1. Implementing an employee recognition program: Offering rewards and recognition to remote employees can help boost productivity, foster collaboration, and encourage team morale even when working apart. An employee recognition program is an amazing way to recognize individual achievements and show appreciation for a well-done job.
  2. Kudos gifs: A simple but effective way to reward employees is a "Kudos Gif," which can be sent via email or chat. This gives remote employees recognition for their efforts in the form of a cartoon gif which they can use and share with colleagues.
  3. Gift cards and certificates: Giving remote employees gift cards or certificates can show appreciation and make them feel valued. This is a great way to reward employees for their hard work, primarily if they work in locations where traditional rewards are unavailable.
  4. The benefits of kudos: Rewarding remote workers with kudos can help create a sense of belonging and camaraderie among the team without being physically present. This can help maintain morale and productivity even when working remotely.
  5. Recognition as a valuable reward: Acknowledging remote employees' efforts with recognition is an invaluable reward that doesn't cost anything but goes a long way in building relationships and fostering collaboration among the team.
  6. The power of praise: Praising remote employees for their work helps build team trust and collaboration. Providing personalized feedback or recognition of accomplishments can help to motivate them and make them feel appreciated, even when working from home.

Matter offers a comprehensive reward program perfect for businesses with remote teams. With our easy-to-use platform, you can create a program that meets your specific needs and helps you retain your best employees.

Rewards and recognition for small businesses

Rewards and recognition are essential for any business, but they are especially important for small businesses. Unfortunately, small businesses often lack the resources to offer lavish rewards and recognition programs like their larger counterparts. However, this does not mean that small businesses should not offer any rewards or recognition.

There are several ways small businesses can reward and recognize their employees. One way is to offer gift cards, which employees can use to purchase items from various merchants. This gives employees a sense of choice and allows them to find something they will enjoy using the card.

Another option is to give employees time off as a reward. This can be especially beneficial for businesses that operate on tight margins and do not have the funds to pay employees for the time they take off work. With Matter, you can create customized employee rewards like free meals or days off.

Rewards and recognition for medium businesses

Medium-sized businesses can reap various benefits from implementing a rewards and recognition program. These businesses are often growing rapidly and experiencing a lot of change in company organization and culture. Rewards and recognition help reinforce company values and culture when other factors may be chaotic.

Medium-sized companies don't have the cozy family feeling of a small business. Therefore, finding ways to foster relationships between coworkers and loyalty to the company is especially important for these organizations. A formal recognition program is a perfect fit for these goals.

Medium businesses often have more flexibility than small businesses regarding a reward program. This flexibility allows them to tailor their programs to meet the specific needs of their employees. By offering a well-designed reward and recognition program, medium businesses can improve employee morale and increase organizational productivity levels.

Rewards and recognition software

Rewards and recognition software is an invaluable tool for businesses of any size. It allows employers to create and manage their rewards and recognition programs efficiently and cost-effectively. For example, peer recognition software enables employers to track employee performance, boost relationships between peers, create personalized rewards and recognition programs for different teams or departments, and assign rewards for employee behavior.

Check out this review of Matter by Spencer, a business founder who gave this automated recognition platform five stars.

10 reasons to implement a rewards and recognition program 

A rewards and recognition program can offer organizations many benefits. They are an effective way to increase employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, improve customer service, and measure the success of activities using analytics. Here are ten reasons why implementing rewards and recognition in the workplace is beneficial for any organization:

  1. Increased employee engagement: A rewards and recognition program can be a great way to increase employee engagement. It encourages employees to stay motivated by setting goals and achieving them, increasing productivity levels across the organization.
  2. Improved analytics: Rewards and recognition programs provide organizations with valuable insights into their workforce's performance. These programs can track employee goals, performance over time, and other metrics that provide valuable data for creating better strategies.
  3. Improved employee retention: Rewarding employees with recognition helps to retain them by showing appreciation for their hard work and dedication. This increases employee loyalty and makes them more likely to stay with the company for the long term.
  4. Enhanced customer service: Rewarding employees for their performance can create a positive attitude and energy among them, reflecting positively on customer service. Employees motivated by recognition are more likely to go the extra mile when dealing with customers.
  5. Increased employee satisfaction: Rewards and recognition programs can give employees a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. This, in turn, increases employee morale, which is essential for the success of any organization.
  6. Employee rewards: A rewards and recognition program provides incentives to help drive performance and reward employees for their hard work and dedication. This helps keep employees motivated and engaged in their work and encourages them to continue striving for success.
  7. Improved performance: Rewarding employees for their performance can help to boost productivity levels across the organization. This helps organizations achieve better results in the long run, as well as provides employees with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
  8. Increased collaboration: Rewards and recognition programs can help improve team members' collaboration. This, in turn, helps create a productive environment where everyone works together towards a common goal.
  9. Feedback Friday: A rewards and recognition program can be used to reward employees for providing feedback regularly. This helps to ensure employee engagement and increases collaboration between team members.
  10. Improved company culture: Rewarding employees for their performance can help to create a positive atmosphere and boost morale within an organization. This, in turn, helps to create a better company culture, which is essential for the success of any business.

Creative ideas for incentivizing employees through rewards and recognition 

Employee incentives come in many shapes and sizes. Offering rewards and recognition can effectively motivate employees, boost morale, and promote a positive work culture. One creative solution for incentivizing employees is using kudos cards or gifs. Kudos cards are digital cards that allow you to quickly send recognition to your team members or peers. They can be customized with messages and appreciation quotes and even include an optional kudos gif or image to make the card more exciting.

Employee recognition also goes beyond kudos cards. For example, quotes for rewards and recognition work well in team communities. Similarly, employee rewards can come in the form of bonus points or gift cards to recognize team members. Again, this can be used as an incentive for employees who do outstanding work and achieve company goals.

Employee recognition messages can also be shared during team or organizational meetings. Public acknowledgment of great work can help boost morale and create a more positive and engaged workplace culture. By combining creative strategies like kudos cards, employee recognition quotes, and rewards, you can create a robust system of incentives to motivate your team.

Strategies for customizing your rewards and recognition platform 

There are many strategies for customizing your rewards and recognition platform to suit the needs of your team. First, consider setting up a system for tracking employee successes that you can use to recognize them on an ongoing basis. This could include tracking metrics such as customer satisfaction rankings or keeping track of employee engagement throughout the day. 

Additionally, offering different rewards can help motivate employees, such as meaningful recognition awards or gift cards to local businesses. However, ensuring that the rewards reflect your team's values and are tailored to their unique needs is essential.

Another way to customize your rewards and recognition platform is by offering flexible redemption options for earned rewards. This could include online shopping credits, tickets to local events, or even vacation days. This will give employees more choice and autonomy regarding how they want to use the rewards they've earned. 

Furthermore, making employees value sure rewards is key; consider offering a range of reward types that cater to different roles and preferences within your organization. Implementing these strategies ensures that your team is more engaged and motivated in their work.

Creating a culture of appreciation with rewards and recognition 

By creating a culture of appreciation through rewards and recognition, employers can help boost employee morale, improve productivity levels, and foster inclusivity in the workplace. By recognizing employees for their hard work, employers show that their contributions are valued and appreciated. Rewards such as bonuses or gifts can be used to recognize achievements or celebrate special occasions.

Regularly thanking employees for their contributions and recognizing them in front of the team can also help to motivate and encourage them. Ultimately, these strategies can help employers build a positive work environment that fosters collaboration and productivity.

In addition to providing rewards and recognition, employers can also look for other creative ways to cultivate appreciation in the workplace. For example, they could create a fun culture with team-building activities or allow more flexible work hours. They could also host celebratory events like office lunches or birthday celebrations and offer employee benefits such as health insurance or tuition reimbursement. By taking the time to recognize employees and show appreciation, employers can help create an environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.

Overall, creating a culture of appreciation with rewards and recognition is an effective way for employers to build morale, motivate employees, and foster collaboration in the workplace. In addition, doing it correctly can lead to higher engagement, better job satisfaction, and improved productivity.

Would rewards and recognition help your team culture? Create a meaningful team culture with recognition, celebrations, and rewards — all inside Slack or Microsoft Teams. Get started for free by adding Matter to your workspace.

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